The marketing landscape has been transformed over the last 10 years. Ten years ago the most targeted and pervasive advertising campaigns were being blasted through our TV and a newly-hatched Facebook was trialing it’s ‘Beacon’ advertising software. It was also when I sold my first property. Print media was the mode de jour for vendors to get the word out about their property, with money being splashed on expensive campaigns in major newspapers and little regard given to their digital presence.
Jump forward a decade and Facebook has recovered from the clunky launch of ‘Beacon’ and is breaking new ground every single day in respect to targeted marketing. The most effective and creative marketing campaigns are being held in the digital sphere, with the digital footprint of a property being its biggest asset. The age of the internet has brought about the opportunity for a revolution in property marketing, which is being sorely neglected by agents stuck in old world thinking. Every franchise has their own tired model of marketing, partnerships with their local papers spanning years and their 16-space front window as the pinnacle of advertising.
With the internet being such a pervasive and persuasive force, deeply integrated in to everyone’s lives, you (and your property) are missing the opportunity to create an impactful connection to your potential buyers by not having a strong digital strategy. When you are assessing the most successful businesses in the digital age, you begin to see the common thread of them all is 24/7 engagement and a client-centric model of service. To this moment, the real-estate industry is lagging. There is however an emerging wave of agents and agencies that are seizing the opportunity to find the ‘New Way’ of doing real estate.
|Old Ways||New Ways|
|Agents are available business hours, Monday-Saturday.||Building a digital presence allows 24/7 engagement with your target audience.|
|Clients and properties are fit in to the agency’s way of doing things.||The agent is open to collaboration and creative thinking. Working only with the best.|
|Existing policies and procedures are standardised across multiple franchises or companies.||Bespoke services are curated to meet the needs of the client.|
|Methods of advertising are wide-reaching and more money = more exposure.||More effective and efficient methods are advertising are prioritised, where smarter investment = targeted exposure|
|Send email alerts to buyers who aren’t buying and sellers who aren’t selling. (Push marketing)||Give clients the opportunity to opt in and out of marketing that is most relevant to them.|
The Old Way of doing real estate places the onus of responsibility on the buyer to chase the agent and doesn’t take in to account the ways that the modern consumer wants to connect. Reliance on tradition can be a real deal-breaker when your audience is used to instantaneous gratification. They expect it of their shopping, their Netflix and education, so why shouldn’t you be held to the same standard? When sitting down with clients, it is imperative that they understand the value in different types of marketing. Traditional print products including agency magazines
Another old chestnut the ‘old school agent’ will pull out is the large database of buyers that ONLY they control and will just LOVE your home. Remember those emails you get from agents you spoke with 10 years ago and haven’t spoken to since? You make up one of the 10 000 buyers who that agent believes (or would like you to believe) will be exclusively interested in your property! 2017 agents will layer their campaigns using Google and Facebook tools to help get fresh eyes and the right eyes on your property.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… Right?
A lot of agents rely on print media as it helps to showcase their agency & properties. It’s a model that’s been around for years whereby older agents and new agents who will often have KPI’s around selling print to vendors. Agents that sell a lot of print media also have prepared anecdotal stories on hand about how ‘JUST LAST WEEK…’ someone picked up the local paper and brought one of my properties for a record price…
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it limits the ability of your property to expand its pool of potential buyers. Why rely on the foot traffic past the real-estate agency and the readership of the local newspaper and a limited digital footprint, when you can open your audience to much greater audiences? By limiting your pool of buyers you’re limiting the chances of finding that one buyer who will pay top dollar for your property. I’d rather fish with a commercial net than a hand reel any time.
Isn’t it enough to be on the agent’s website?
It’s a start! As previously mentioned, exposure is key to expanding your audience and there are a whole host of tools that can be utilised to build your digital presence. Utilising Facebook & Google’s integration can differentiate a targeted marketing campaign from just advertising your property. So, if someone is googling ‘houses to buy in your suburb, Facebook can use this to push the ad for your property on to their social media interface. With over 600 messages being thrown at the average consumer every day, targeted marketing ensures that your property reaches the people who want to see it.
Both Google and Facebook now have powerful integration tools to ensure more eyes are on your property when it counts. If you are talking to an agent who doesn’t get this and or doesn’t have a strategy to exploit this then you are missing out on a huge target market, passive buyers no longer flick through print publications and turn up to your auction. These same buyers are flicking through properties on a multitude of different devices on their couch, on the train at work…. 2017 agents know this and have a strategy that ensures your home stands out.
New ways, so what makes your property listing stand out?
When your agent or their marketing expert is crafting your ad, they are expected to be a jack of all trades. Not only do they need to advertise a myriad of different types of properties, they are their own graphic designer, copywriter and marketing guru. The point of difference in ‘new world’ property marketing is the diversification of talent, being able to outsource tasks to the most appropriate person for the job. Bespoke, boutique services take advantage of the talented and hard working freelance community to ensure that not only do you have ONE expert working on your marketing, you have 10.
The right team put together for every property.
When a writer pitches a film script to a director, the director will then assemble the best team for that film. Likewise, with your property, a team of photographers, copywriters and designers should be handpicked to work on your home this allows your team to be creatively agile and cater to the unique needs of your property and its potential buyers! You don’t market a family home the way you market an apartment, so it’s important the team used on each assignment are carefully selected. It’s pretty clear that in 2017, we need to be coming up with new and innovative ways to get your property to the forefront of the advertising market. The most effective and profitable campaigns moving forward in to the future will be the ones at the cutting edge of online marketing, with a sharp divergence from traditional print media.
Get this part right and your halfway there.
When you are handling the sale of your biggest asset, you should consider the money you put into marketing as an investment. As with any investment it’s important to weight each item based on the ability to help you achieve a premium result. This doesn’t mean you should spend more on advertising, rather redistribute your funds into avenues with the greatest potential. It’s essential that you have a team on your side who understands fully the power of harnessing the existing infrastructure of Facebook and Google integration. Pair this with an effective team put together for the sole purpose of maximising the price of your home, you are well on the way.